On the way to a field trip at Sharks Stadium, Dick Casablancas points out a bad smell on the bus. To avoid it on the way home, Gia, Logan, Duncan and he rent a limo. During the trip, Veronica sees baseball player Terrence Cook heatedly confront Sharks Coach Woody Goodman, who appears to assure him. Veronica gets on the bus, which drops by a rest stop. Veronica is about to board the bus again when she sees Weevil and goes over to talk to him. The chaperone, Ms. Dumas, asks if everyone got on the bus, and, pissed at Veronica, Meg says yes. The bus leaves the rest stop and Veronica. Weevil offers her a ride home, but on the way, they see the limo stopped on the side of the road. They stop. The bus has gone over the guard rail and fell into the ocean. ("Normal Is The Watchword")
The bus carried six students, Ms. Dumas, and the bus driver, Ed Doyle, and only Meg survived. However, she is in a coma. Sheriff Lamb believes the crash was the result of the driver's suicide, as Ed had a history of mental illness. Veronica visits the accident site, where a memorial has been set up. She helps a man light a candle by blocking the wind, and they have short small talk. Ed's daughter, Jessie, is at the site as well and asks Veronica to prove that her father didn't commit suicide.
According to a news interview, the shop clerk at the rest stop witnessed Ed come in to purchase a few items. A few minutes later, he returned to the counter and bought a St. Christopher's pendant for 25 cents. Ed immediately threw it out. Veronica goes to the rest stop and asks the clerk what items Ed bought, and bought them herself. A sign on the register reads that the store doesn't make change; Veronica then spots a payphone. She realizes Ed purchased the pendant for its change to use on the payphone.
After making a stop at the sheriff's department to use their resources, Veronica finds out that Ed made a call to a "Cotter" in his apartment complex. When she goes to Jessie's apartment to inform her of this, Sheriff Lamb enters with a search warrant. He finds what seems to be a suicide note on Ed's computer, which contains a goodbye to his wife and several assurances that "this" is better for everyone. Veronica visits the Cotter family apartment, and Mr. Cotter opens the door. She asks about the phone call. He wasn't home that day but his wife was. She says she remembers the call, but it was a wrong number.
A day later, Veronica returns to confront Mrs. Cotter alone and presents her theory. She believes Ed Doyle wasn't planning to kill himself but was actually going to leave his wife for Mrs. Cotter. Mrs. Cotter confirms her theory and agrees to meet with Jessie to testify. Unfortunately, it's not enough to convince Lamb to reopen the case. He only does so when an unidentified body washes ashore with "Veronica Mars" written across his palm. Keith agrees to run for sheriff at the suggestion of Woody, the mayoral candidate, due to Lamb's refusal to reopen the case. ("Driver Ed")
Sheriff Lamb brings Veronica in for questioning. He has identified the man as David "Curly" Moran and shows Veronica a photo. She recognizes him as the man she helped at the crash site, leading her to conclude he was following her. After a quick search, Veronica discovers his drug abuse had effectively ended his career in the 1980s, resulting in him becoming a high-end mechanic. She goes to his place of work and asks the supervisor about him, posing as his niece. He doesn't offer much except a box of Curly's things. Veronica sorts through the picture frames in the box before finding a signed photo of Aaron Echolls and Curly. Later, when she visits Logan at his house, she sees a poster from one of Aaron's '80s movies, a film trademarked by its scene of a truck driving off a cliff. Accredited as the stunt coordinator is Curly. After finding a crime scene photo of Curly's hand, Veronica believes the crash was meant to kill her. ("Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang")
For the election for sheriff, Keith and Don Lamb are having a debate. Lamb uncovers, in front of the audience and press, that Keith had pulled over Ed Doyle for a DUI, but never arrested. If Keith had followed procedure, Lamb laments, Ed would have never been hired by the school and would have therefore never been driving the bus. This causes Keith to lose his 12-point lead in the race.
Based on the previous events of Veronica's investigation, Veronica wonders what exactly the sheriff department is doing to solve the crash. She plants a bug in a paperweight and gifts it to Lamb. She hears Lamb blackmailing Terrence with his gambling addiction.
Veronica runs into a friend of bus crash victim Rhonda Landers at a psychic show. She claims to have a voicemail from Rhonda that was recorded at the moment of the crash. Veronica is given the recording and listens for herself; there are explosions in the tape, suggesting that the bus was sabotaged. She shares the recording with Keith and tells him to release the tape to help him regain his favor in the sheriff race. Keith decides against it and instead gives the voicemail to Lamb. ("Blast From The Past")
Woody Goodman is elected mayor and Lamb is reelected as sheriff. ("Rat Saw God")
Goodman enlists Keith to help him "incorporate" Neptune. ("Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner")
The Oliveres family hires Keith to investigate harassment, in which the perpetrator is playing recordings of Marcos, their son who died in the crash. Veronica joins the case and discovers Marcos was the host of the campus radio show "Ahoy, Mateys!" under the pseudonym Cap'n Krunk. Along with Vincent "Butters" Clemmons as Imitation Crab, the two make fun of other students to knock them down a peg. At first, this makes Marcos a possible target of anyone in the school- however, Veronica discovers that his popularity gained him a fan - Ryan. However, Ryan, a gay student, had a major crush on Marcos. Though Marcos denied any startings of a relationship, the two were very close. Ryan was revealed to be the one harassing the Oliveres. When Marcos's parents caught Ryan giving him a back rub, they sent him to a conversion camp. They urged him to partake in (hetero) "normal" things, like going on a field trip to a baseball stadium. ("Ahoy, Mateys!")